Letter of the Pope for Christian martyrs of the Middle East - The silence of the innocent

2015-08-06 L’Osservatore Romano

“Many times have I wanted to give voice to the the unspeakable, inhuman and inexplicable persecution of those who in many parts of the world — especially among Christians — are victims of fanaticism an intolerance, often under the eyes and in the silence of everyone”. 

Pope Francis wrote these words in a letter sent on 31 July to Archbishop Maroun Elias Lahham, Auxiliary of Jerusalem for Latins and Patriarchal Vicar for Jordan. The occasion is the first anniversary of the arrival in the Middle Eastern country of Iraqi refugees fleeing from the Niniveh Plain, which occurred on 8 August 2014. The bearer of the pontifical message is Bishop Nunzio Galantino, General Secretary of the Italian Episcopal Conference, who from 6 to 9 August will be in Amman by the invitation of His Beatitude Fouad Twal, Patriarch of Jerusalem. “May may global public opinion”, the Pontiff wishes, “be ever more attentive, sensitive and engaged regarding the persecution directed against Christians and, more generally, against religious minorities. I renew the hope that the international community not remain silent and inert in front of these intolerable crimes, which constitute an alarming decline of the most essential human rights and impede the richness of cohabitation among peoples, cultures and faiths.